Rock N' Roll Heaven
I've been meaning to write this piece for several years, but now it seems I must, with Thurston and Kim splitting up after 30 years together. It feels almost like my own parents splitting up, since Kim and my mom are the same age (!). Sonic Youth was the first band on the indie scene that made me feel like it was okay to be adventurous, musically. I mean, R.E.M. and U2 led me down the path, but SY blew the gates of my mind off the hinges. I had always been trying weird things with guitars and pedals, but I had no clue. To see that these ADULTS were doing it meant that it was okay. And then, when I was 17, I saw the video for "Dirty Boots."
In the video, a guy who looked like my skater friends and dressed like me spots this cute brunette chick across the room, also decked out in flannel made before 1991 - and they lock eyes, in that magical way they do on the silver screen, as if the heavens themselves made it happen. They spend several minutes making Goo eyes at each other while the band is playing "Dirty Boots," blissfully unaware of the young love blossoming like the multiple feedback squalls before our very eyes via Tamra Davis's camera. Their burgeoning romance culminates in their shared stagedive, holding hands as they jump, only to get pulled apart by the crowd.
I've spent twenty years looking for my stagediving diva in flannel with eyes like stars. I've even dated a girl or two with the same hairstyle. Not her. Nowhere have I found this grunge princess. The amount of shows I've gone to since then is ridiclous. Even more ridiculous is that at almost all of these shows, I scan the crowd trying to find her. I've gotten a number exactly once. We sort of dated for three months, but I was 28 and she was 18. Was it a bad idea? You betcha! I excel at bad ideas. Or at least, I'm better at executing the bad ideas than the good ones. Good ideas take a lifetime to build into something. Bad ideas manifest themselves before the little blue man in the closet can yell "MISTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!" Caitlin from Connecticut, however, might have been a better choice. I met her at the Dismemberment Plan/John Vanderslice show. She was a big JV fan but had never heard of Dismemberment Plan. I was the reverse. I think we would have been a good match. Alas, I was too afraid to ask for her number. Also, she didn't look the part.
They (those anonymous, insufferable They, who seem to always be saying something...problem is, these days it's all a blur as to what is a cliché and what is a sales pitch, although lately, everything seems to be a sales pitch) say that life is a journey (but yet a singer who has nothing to do with Journey sang "Life Is A Highway" - curious, isn't it?) and that getting there is half the fun -- so I guess that means I'm only having half the fun so far in my life. So thank you, Sonic Youth, for sending me on this snipe hunt for love.